Silence of the WH(ams)

George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley has posted his Hill column on the leak of the draft Alito opinion in the Dodd case here at his own site. He discusses the erosion of traditional norms otherwise applicable to the Supreme Court. I don’t see Professor Turley engaging in both-sidesism here. He calls out Democrats and their allies among the Democrats’ media adjunct.

In the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing the left did everything but physically assassinate then Judge Kavanaugh to prevent his confirmation. In the introduction to the column on his site and on Twitter Professor Turley now points out that the White House cannot bring itself to denounce the latest development in the left’s war on the Court — insofar as it may resist or roll back the encroachments of the left. Someone is going to get hurt.

Professor Turley’s tweet prompted me to check the transcript of yesterday’s White House press briefing by the psychedelic Jen Psaki. Here is the first exchange:

Q There have been concerns and there’s stepped-up monitoring among law enforcement across the country for potential violence around this draft majority opinion and the ultimate decision by the Supreme Court. The justices have had to see their security stepped up in the last few days.

Just curious what the President would make of that, if he’s aware that that’s had to happen; what the message might be to those who are upset by this and are contemplating the unthinkable.

MS. PSAKI: Well, first, I would say the President — for all those women, men, others who feel outraged, who feel scared, who feel concerned — he hears them, he shares that concern and that horror of what he saw in that draft opinion. It’s not a final opinion. What it has prompted is a redoubled effort across the administration and with Congress to take every step we can to protect women’s healthcare.

What he — his message directly would be to anybody out there who is feeling that frustration, is participating in peaceful protest, is: Ensure it’s peaceful; have your voice heard peacefully. We should not be resorting to violence in any way, shape, or form. That’s certainly what he would be conveying.

Good to know. But what about doxing the justices? That seems like a useful step toward “resorting to violence” in some form. I take it that it was Peter Doocy who followed up:

Q Do you think the progressive activists that are now planning protests outside some of the justices’ houses are extreme?

MS. PSAKI: Peaceful protest? No. Peaceful protest is not extreme.

Q But some of these justices have young kids. Their neighbors are not all public figures. So would the President think about waving off activists that want to go into residential neighborhoods in Virginia and Maryland?

MS. PSAKI: Peter, look, I think our view here is that peaceful protest — there’s a long history in the United States and the country of that. And we certainly encourage people to keep it peaceful and not resort to any level of violence.

Let me tell you what I was referring to and what the President was referring to yesterday.

Q Not about yesterday, though — just about moving forward. These activists posted a map with the home addresses of the Supreme Court justices. Is that the kind of thing this President wants to help your side make their point?

MS. PSAKI: Look, I think the President’s view is that there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness from many, many people across this country about what they saw in that leaked document. We obviously want people’s privacy to be respected. We want people to protest peacefully if they want to — to protest. That is certainly what the President’s view would be.

Q So he doesn’t care if they’re protesting outside the Supreme Court or outside someone’s private residence?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest. I want it — we want it, of course, to be peaceful. And certainly, the President would want people’s privacy to be respected.

But I think we shouldn’t lose the point here: The reason people are protesting is because women across the country are worried about their fundamental rights that have been law for 50 years. Their rights to make choices about their own bodies and their own healthcare are at risk. That’s why people are protesting. They’re unhappy. They’re scared.

It was good of Professor Turley to take note, though I would like to amplify the outrage. The silence of the White House is almost — almost — unbelievable. As I say, someone is going to get hurt.

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